Voting is one of the most important rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship. This Florida election guide contains information to help voters better understand the voting process and prepare for the national election on November 3, 2020.
When is Election Day?
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Who can vote?
To be able to vote in Florida, you must:
Be a citizen of the U.S.
Be a resident of Florida
Be 18 years old on or before the day of the election
Not be convicted of a felony (or have had your full rights restored by the state)
Not be diagnosed as mentally incapacitated
You need to register to vote by October 5, 2020. Register means to sign up. You can register online. You can also print out the form and mail it or take it to your county Supervisor of Elections' Office.
ID means identification. You must provide an ID when you vote in person. The ID must have your signature and a photo. You can also use one ID with a signature and another one with your photo. These are some IDs you can use:
Florida driver's license
Florida identification card
Government employee card
Veteran health identification (from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs)
If you don't have a valid ID or if it is lost, you must request a temporary ballot and sign it.
What about early voting?
Florida allows us to vote early. Most people in Florida can vote early starting on October 24, 2020, but some counties may begin a few days earlier. This can be easier than voting on Election Day because it is usually less crowded. There are fewer polling places open for early voting. You might vote at a new place. To find an early voting polling place near you, check your county county Supervisor of Elections webpage. Early voting must end 3 days before the election. Polls are open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
What about vote-by-mail or "absentee" voting?
Florida allows you to vote using a ballot you get in the mail. This is called voting by mail. (Sometimes it is called absentee voting.) You do not have to go to the polling place to vote. You can request this ballot through the Supervisor of Elections in your county, and it will be mailed to you. You must request it at least 6 days before the election. You can request the ballot in person, in writing, by phone, or online.
These ballots must have a signature on the back envelope. This signature must match the one you used when you registered to vote.
Mail-in ballots in Florida can be returned by mail or in person. Voters can have someone pick up or return their ballot on their behalf. To be counted, a ballot must be received by election officials in your county by 7:00 PM on Election Day.
To vote on election day, go to your polling place. A polling place is a place where you can vote. It is usually somewhere people can get to easily, like schools or community centers. You should receive mail that tells you the address of your polling place. You can also get the address of your polling place by going to your online voter registration record at https://registration.elections.myflorida.com/CheckVoterStatus.
What if I have more questions about voting?
Please visit the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page on the Florida Division of Elections to learn more about registering and voting.
Elections are about more than choosing a president. You can also vote for other leaders and ballot measures, which are questions about how things are done in Florida. You are not required to vote on all the items.
Here is what you can expect to find on your ballot:
President and Vice President
Donald Trump (Current president, Republican)
Joe Biden (Democrat)
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian)
Howie Hawkins (Green)
Angela Nicole Walker
Gloria La Riva
Roque De La Fuente
Brian T. Carroll
Shawn W. Howard
Valerie Lin McCray
The particular candidates on the ballot depend on the district in which you live. State representatives serve two-year terms.
Florida Supreme Court
There may be many local offices such as Florida State Senate, Florida House of Representatives, and City Council on the ballot.
Read this guide written by Dr. Robert P. Watson for an explanation of this year's Florida ballot measures in plain English (starting on page 9).
Florida Amendment 1 - Citizen Requirement for Voting Initiative
States in the state Constitution that only U.S. citizens can vote in federal, state, local, or school elections.
A "yes" vote supports changing the Florida Constitution to state that "only a citizen" of the U.S. can vote in Florida.
A "no" vote opposes changing the Florida Constitution, thus keeping the existing language that says "every citizen" of the U.S. can vote in Florida.
Florida Amendment 2 - $15 Minimum Wage Initiative
Increases the state minimum wage to $15.00 by 2026.
A "yes" vote supports the effort to increase the state's minimum wage incrementally until reaching $15.00 per hour in September 2026.
A "no" vote opposes the effort to increase the state's minimum wage incrementally until reaching $15.00 per hour in September 2026, in this way keeping the current minimum wage of $8.46 per hour.
Florida Amendment 3 - Top-Two Open Primaries for State Offices Initiative
Establishes a top-two open primary system for state office primary elections.
A "yes" vote supports setting up a top-two open primary system for primary elections for state legislators, the governor, and cabinet (attorney general, chief financial officer, and commissioner of agriculture) in Florida.
A "no" vote opposes setting up a top-two open primary system for state office primary elections, in this way leaving in place Florida’s current system where closed primaries are held by each party.
Florida Amendment 4 - Require Constitutional Amendments to be Passed Twice Initiative
Requires voter-approved changes to the Florida Constitution to be approved by voters a second time at a second general election.
A "yes" vote supports voter-approved changes to the Florida Constitution to be approved by voters at a second general election to become effective.
A "no" vote opposes voter-approved changes to the Florida Constitution to be approved by voters at a second general election to become effective.
Florida Amendment 5 - Extend "Save Our Homes" Portability Period Amendment
Increases the period during which a person may transfer "Save Our Homes" benefits to a new homestead property from two years to three years.
A "yes" vote supports extending the period during which a person may transfer "Save Our Homes" benefits to a new homestead property from two years to three years.
A "no" vote opposes extending the period during which a person may transfer "Save Our Homes" benefits to a new homestead property from two years to three years.
Florida Amendment 6 - Homestead Property Tax Discount for Spouses of Deceased Veterans Amendment
Allows a homestead property tax discount to be transferred to the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran.
A "yes" vote supports allowing a homestead property tax discount to be transferred to the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran.
A "no" vote opposes allowing a homestead property tax discount to be transferred to the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran.
You may also be asked to vote on local ballot measures that are related to your community.
Classroom Resources New England Literacy Resource Center
Includes lesson plans and classroom activities, links to websites with election information to share with students, and links to websites with civic activities.
News For You Voting Guide New Readers Press
This guide explains who can vote and why every vote counts, how Americans choose their leaders, and how to register to vote and cast your ballot.
Young Voter's Guide to Social Media and the News Common Sense Media
Use these resources to teach students how to find sources of credible information about candidates, voting, and the election. Includes lesson plans for teachers and resources for parents.
List of early voting locations in Florida Florida Department of State
Comprehensive list of early voting locations around the state of Florida and their operating hours. TIP: Use CTRL+F to search your county name.